08 May 2014

What's stopping you from hiring staff?

Are you preventing your business from growing because you're delaying on hiring your first member of staff?

While hiring staff is a crucial part of growing your business, if you set up your business all by yourself, the thought of taking on an employee can be extremely daunting.  Here are some of the common reasons why business owners delay expanding their team.

You’re not sure you can afford to pay their salary

While additional wages will undoubtedly add to your costs, what could you lose if you don’t expand? You’ll be limited to how much work you can do, and there are only so many hours in the day.
Don’t forget, there’s more than one way to get hired help. You could consider outsourcing tasks so you can concentrate on the key ones, hire someone part-time or on a freelance basis, or take on an apprentice.

You’re put off by the extra costs and paperwork

There’s no hiding this one. You’ll need to:

  • get employers liability insurance
  • factor in things like pensions and national insurance contributions
  • make certain checks, such as ensuring your new employee can legally work in the UK.
  • make yourself aware of your responsibilities as an employer, including registering as one.

It’s easy to turn this into an obstacle in your mind, but if you really want your business to succeed, it may be worth taking the time to do it. Plus, once you know how things work, it’ll make it easier to recruit in the future. There is plenty of advice available to help make this as painless as possible. We like this infographic from Simply Business, which summarises the process very nicely.

You don’t have time to manage someone

It will inevitably take extra time at first, sometimes you have to devote time to make time. If you are careful and hire the right person for the role, they’ll have the skills and/or aptitude you need and won’t need too much hand-holding. In return, they could save you time, increase your profits and become another ambassador for your company.

You’re afraid of giving up control

This is understandable. It’s your business and you’ve been doing everything your way since you started it. Or perhaps you fear that your new employee is more skilled than you? Take yourself out of the equation and look at what’s best for your business. Logically, you want to hire the best person you can for the role, whether it’s to do similar tasks as you or to take on work that you’re not the expert on.

At the end of the day, the quality of their work is still your responsibility; instead of giving up control, you’re delegating – an essential skill for a business owner.

You don’t have the space

If you work from home, you may worry that there is no room for an extra pair of hands. Depending on the type of business you have, your employee could work from home. There are plenty of ways to help you stay connected, including scheduling video calls, regular meetings or perhaps consider working in a coworking space to keep costs down. Of course, you could also investigate renting an office or unit too. They’re not always as expensive as you may think. Take a look at our sites here.  

Tips for hiring the right person

When you decide the time is righ to take the plunge and employ someone, here are some tips to make the hiring process go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Be clear about what you want
    Taking the time to write a clear and detailed job description will save you effort further down the line. You need to have a clear idea exactly what tasks you need your new recruit to do, you’ll be able to find the most suitable person for the role. You’ll also reduce the number of people applying who don’t have the relevant skills and experience. Once you have written your job description, take another look at it and check it is realistic. If there are a lot of different tasks and responsibilities, these may be better split between two or more people.
  2. Ask your contacts to help you find the right person
    Placing a job advert is a good way of recruiting but there are other ways of finding the right person for a position. Make sure your network of contacts know that you are planning to hire someone and get them to spread the word. They may also know some people they would recommend for the job.
  3. Save time by using the phone
    If you receive applications from a lot of promising candidates, interviewing them all can be a time-consuming process. Make things easy on yourself by holding short telephone interviews to whittle the list down to a few people. By talking to someone on the phone, you will get a feel for what they are like as a person and it will give you the opportunity to ask some basic questions. You can then invite your favourites in for a more detailed face-to-face interview.
  4. Prepare your questions in advance
    It is tempting to just have a chat with potential recruits but if you do, there is a risk that you will forget to ask the questions which really matter. Write a set of important questions you really want answering and keep them with you in the interview so you remember to ask them. If you ask each person the same questions, it will be easier for you to compare them when you are deciding who to hire.
  5. Go with your gut
    It is important you hire someone you get on with and who you will be happy placing your trust in. Experience and qualifications are important but so are attitude and personality. You need to listen to your instincts to make sure you choose someone who is right for your company.